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Female Characters Who Break the Molds | An Interview with Hannah Lynn


A Spartan's Sorrow
Hannah Lynn

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February 2024
On Sale: February 20, 2024
336 pages
ISBN: 1728284279
EAN: 9781728284279
Kindle: B08GHT36WL
Trade Paperback / e-Book
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Also by Hannah Lynn:
Daughters of Olympus, July 2024
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Queens of Themiscyra, May 2024
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A Spartan's Sorrow, February 2024
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Athena's Child, October 2023

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You describe your female protagonist in A SPARTAN'S SORROW as “a mother, a queen, a villain”. I’m intrigued. Can you elaborate on that? As an author, what kind of women are you most inspired to write about? Who are some of your favorite female characters in literature?

So often, people in general are given a single title. Sometimes this is linked to their professions, a teacher, a nurse, a diplomat. Sometimes we describe them by their appearance, or a single personality trait; the shy one, the redhead, etc. Even when describing friends or close acquaintances, we choose this single word, when in truth there is no person in history who can be defined in such simple terms. Though I used three terms here for Clytemnestra, she was so much more, and all those complex aspects of her are deeply interwoven.

I am most inspired to write about the voices who have not been heard enough. Those that are subplots in another story when in truth, they deserve their own.

I am drawn to characters who break the molds like the Amazon Queens did. In more modern literature, I love characters who fight on moral ground, like Kathy H in Never Let Me Go or Offred in The Handmaid's Tale.

Even though A SPARTAN'S SORROW is a fantasy, how much – if any – research goes into a book like this? Is this a period or subject that has fascinated you?

There is a lot of research that goes into these books, as I am using a world that is so deeply loved already, and the characters are so deeply interwoven in so many stories. The research is by far the most time-consuming part of the process. I adore the period, but there are definitely certain characters that fascinate me.

Some of my favorite stories have unforgettable supporting characters. Are there any characters to help or hurt Clytemnestra that might stand out for readers?

I think Electra has to be one of the key ones in the way that she challenges her mother.

If you could pick one of your books to recommend to a reader unfamiliar with your work, which one would you pick? And why? Most people say the first book in a series, but there might be other folks like me who don’t always start a series with the first book.

I think it would depend on where they are in their love of mythology and whether they have read any retellings before. If they haven’t, then Athena's Child is a great place to start as a swift introduction to my style and the type of stories I write. If they have read other retellings before, then I would encourage them to dive in wherever takes their fancy!

Other authors I’ve interviewed have told me that the kinds of books they enjoy reading are different from the kind of books they enjoy writing. What do you like to read? Favorite books? Favorite author?

I am completely omnivorous with my reading style and will read anything that takes my fancy. I also binge-read authors. As well as other incredible mythology writers like Madeline Miller and Jennifer Saint, I have so many other authors I adore, like Maggie O'Farrell, Ishiguro, Neil Gaiman, Elodie Harper… the list goes on.

What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on a retelling of the first Amazon Queen, and wife of Ares. It is definitely the most epic book I have ever written, though it doesn’t yet have a title agreed with the publisher!

A SPARTAN'S SORROW by Hannah Lynn

A Spartan's Sorrow

She is a mother, a queen, a villain. However we remember her, her wrath will never be forgotten.

Clytemnestra is no stranger to pain. As a wife and queen, she bears it with stoicism. But when her husband does the unthinkable, sacrificing one of their daughters to appease the ruthless gods and bring himself glory in battle, Clytemnestra is forever changed.

No longer will she stand by, a mere witness to the brutal games of gods and men. She will play by their vicious rules. She will rise to power, cut down those who oppose her, and protect her remaining children, whatever the cost. But revenge is as venomous and unforgiving as a snake, and Clytemnestra's actions will change her family in ways she could never imagine.

Perfect for readers of lush, feminist retellings in the vein of Natalie Haynes and Elodie Harper, A Spartan's Sorrow is a nuanced story of power, loss, and bitter betrayal—a story of the rise and fall of history's most infamous queen.

 

Historical | Literature and Fiction Literary [Sourcebooks Landmark, On Sale: February 20, 2024, Trade Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9781728284279 / ]

Buy A SPARTAN'S SORROWAmazon.com | Kindle | BN.com | Powell's Books | Books-A-Million | Indie BookShops | Ripped Bodice | Walmart.com | Target.com | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon DE | Amazon FR

About Hannah Lynn

Hannah Lynn

Hannah Lynn is a multi award winning novelist. Publishing her first book, Amendments – a dark, dystopian speculative fiction novel, in 2015. Her second book, The Afterlife of Walter Augustus – a contemporary fiction novel with a supernatural twist – went on to win the 2018 Kindle Storyteller Award and the Independent Publishers Gold Medal for Best Adult Ebook.

Born in 1984, Hannah grew up in the Cotswolds, UK. After graduating from university, she spent 15 years as a teacher of physics, first in the UK and then Thailand, Malaysia, Austria and Jordan. It was during this time, inspired by the imaginations of the young people she taught, she began writing short stories for children, and later adult fiction.

Now settled back in the UK with her husband, daughter and horde of cats, she spends her days writing romantic comedies and historical fiction. Her first historical fiction novel, Athena's Child, was also a 2020 Gold Medalist at the Independent Publishers Awards.

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